min & matt’s wedding

May 21st, 2012

this past saturday we attended the wedding of my SIL’s childhood friend, melinda. her and matt were married in this GORGEOUS estate on an equally gorgeous day. it was so picturesque! we had a lot of fun snapping some photos during the cocktail hour.

hope you all had a lovely weekend!

three & four of fifty two

May 20th, 2012

Divergent Started: May 10

Divergent Finished: May 14

Insurgent Started: May 14

Insurgent Finished: May 16

you all know how much i looooovvveeeddd Hunger Games. and i had heard through the grapvine that people who love HG will love these too. boy were they right!

i’m going to try really hard not to spoil anything so i’ll keep this brief. the main character, beatrice, reminds me a lot of katniss. she’s strong. she has some life changing choices to make. and she seems to be in constant conflict with herself. beatrice lives in a world where the people are broken up into factions. when she turns 16, she must decide whether to stay in the faction she was born in, or choose another faction. let me tell you, there are so many twists and turns and surprises. and if you’re looking for a another great book boyfriend, these books deliver.

while i really enjoyed the books and the creativity of veronica roth, i think i’m going to have to cool it on the dystopian novels for awhile – too many weird dreams!

two of fifty two: the fault in our stars

May 14th, 2012

Started: May 8

Finished: May 9

I don’t just read books, I seem to devour them. And this book was no exception.

This is a love story. But it is so much more than just that. Hazel is a reclusive 16 year old with cancer. Her mother goads her into attending a support group for teenagers surviving with the terrible disease. It is in that support group that she meets Augustus. The book then becomes their story.

Hazel and Gus are extremely different in how they react to their disease, but they both do so with so much humor, I found myself sometimes laughing out loud. But I remembered that they are teenagers. With cancer. And my heart broke over and over again.

John Green writes with such purpose. Each line has some lesson in it. It stays with you. And – as every good story should – it makes you take s step back and marvel at the world around you.

to the best momma in the world

May 13th, 2012

thank you.

xoxo

birthday party hunger games style

May 11th, 2012

so last sunday was my official birthday celebration. my husband organized the food – all from the hunger games! our appetizers were goat cheese with chives and walnuts over toasted bread topped with raspberries, and “rabbit sticks” aka mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto. we also had goat cheese and basil leaves to put atop our biscuits. the salad was dandelion greens (just kidding. wegmans doesn’t carry dandelion greens) with a “tracker jacker dressing” which was made of honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, shallots and garlic. it was crazy yummy. our main dish was chicken later skewered on sticks. to end the meal we had “cupcakes on fire” (and those turned out to be more like “glimmer’s cupcakes” … do you know how hard it is to get icing to actually be red?!) and honey pudding – vanilla pudding with “nightlock” berries, honey, and crushed ginger cookies.

it was a lovely way to spend a sunday afternoon. and it forced us to clean our house.

of course, i didn’t take any pictures of people. once i started eating, i wasn’t stopping!

one of fifty two: the great gatsby

May 5th, 2012

{found}

started: Tuesday, May 1

finished: Saturday, May 5

if i could start college all over again, i think i might have fancied studying to be a high school lit teacher. sitting around, talking about the green light, the valley of ashes, and Gatsby’s dreams makes me swoon a bit. of course, the raging hormones, pimples, and foul-mouthed teenagers do turn me off. but i digress.

while first reading this novel in 11th (or was it 12th) grade, i remember loving the manner in which Fitzgerald described Daisy Buchanan.

“I looked back at my cousin who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth – but there was an excitement in her voice that men who cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered “Listen”, a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.” (pg. 25)

while i had a vivid memory of Daisy, i can’t say that i remembered all of the other details, but i was once again taken back to the roaring twenties and those gorgeous summer parties thrown by Gatsby. in my head, the lawn is the most lush green possible. and there are low, well-trimmed hedges that outline the lawn. all of the women are wearing beautiful evening gowns and throwing their heads back in laughter while nursing a sidecar. the men are wearing pastel suits, one hand holding a cigarette, the other on the small of the back of the lady who accompanied them. it was all so mysterious and romantic. and that is what a great novel does. it takes you to another time and place. with people who you would never have the chance to meet otherwise.

the web woven between Daisy, Tom, Myrtle, Wilson, Jordan, Nick, and Gatsby makes the modern day soap operas blush. the novel is filled with scandal, lies, and tragedy. and you see what men will do for women that they love. women, who are in one way or another, taken from them.

i am so glad that this was my first book of my fifty two. if you haven’t read this since high school, by golly, read it again! when there aren’t assignments and deadlines looming over your head, you can truly appreciate the book for what it is. and that, my dear, is up to you.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”     (pg. 154)

twenty seven

May 1st, 2012

exactly one week ago, i turned 27. honestly, it didn’t really appeal to me. it’s creepily close to 30 without feeling accomplished. how old are you? 27? so …? meh.

so instead of having the birthday blues, i decided this year would be a particularly good one. enter: the birthday list.*

i made a list of twenty seven things to do before i turn 28. some of them are just silly. some are pretty serious. and some are just things that i want to get done/change. so i’ll share some and i’ll be sure to update you on my progress.

one. read 52 books.

yes. you read that right. 52. that’s one per week. so far i’ve picked up two from the library – the great gatsby (f. scott fitzgerald) and a desirable residence (madeleine wickham). the classics and chic lit. i am obviously ALL over the place. i’ve also taken two recommendations from my sister-in-law – wonder (r.j. palacio) and the fault in our stars (john green). that leaves 48 more books to be discovered. i’ve decided i can reread books. that totally counts because this time around i’m going to be blogging about each, per the wonderful suggestion of a friend. it will hopefully become a weekly post. p.s. anyone wanna start a book club??

four. get a tattoo.

and then hide said tattoo from my parents. haha. just kidding. well, sort of. no, not really. i have two ideas. i’m just not sure of the placement, which will totally depend on how much certain areas of your body hurt whilst getting inked.

six. audition for community theater.

i loved theater in high school. i attempted to try out in college, but let’s be serious, chica was a teeeeeny tiny fish in the huge pond that is Penn State and she got discouraged. well, discouragement be damned! and i’ll be versatile because, according to my co-workers, i could pass for a 12 year old.

twelve. swim in the ocean.

the fact that it’s even on the list should give you an indication as to the last time that i did this. it was literally years ago and that makes my heart ache. it will not, under any circumstances, be the ocean off the coast of n.j. (sorry, Snooki).

thirteen. train our dog to stop barking at every blessed thing.

i’ve heard this can be done. so i am going to try my darndest. she has this particularly piercing bark when she spies a cat. 1. it makes everyone’s ears bleed within a 15 mile radius and 2. it’s embarassing. like, people stare and i’m tired of being judged because our miniature dachshund thinks she’s a rottweiler (or some equally intimidating and large dog). it’s horrifying and needs to stop.

eighteen. send more snail mail.

c’mon. tell me you don’t jump for joy when you go to your mailbox and get good mail? if that’s just me, then i’m ashamed. but if it isn’t, i hope to bring some joy jumping to those i love.

twenty three. read the whole Bible.

the jury is still out on whether or not this will be considered one of 52. but i’ve always wanted to do it. the books where blah blah begat blah blah might be a little hard to get through, but i’d love to do it!

twenty seven. learn to walk in heels.

without looking like a fool. i don’t intend on wearing them all that often because i feel weird being that tall, but i would like to successfully navigate an aisle or hallway without fearing for my life.

358 days left. to accomplish 27 things. let’s do this thang!

*birthday list idea first found on a beautiful mess.

photo: taken with my iPhone and edited with picmonkey. written while listening to: starting line and fall out boy.